A father from Cambridge sets out on a remarkable journey, propelled by personal tragedy and a deep commitment to mental health advocacy. Tom Mould, 36, found himself grappling with the devastating effects of depression following the loss of his close friend, James Waterhouse, to suicide. Determined to honor James’s memory and support others facing similar struggles, Tom embarked on a mission to row over 2,000 kilometers in support of the mental health charity, Shout.

The bond between Tom and James spanned over 25 years, rooted in the shared experiences of childhood and the enduring camaraderie forged through the years. Reflecting on their friendship, Tom fondly recalls James as a beacon of loyalty, curiosity, and joy—a cherished companion whose presence enriched his life in countless ways.

Tragically, James’s untimely death cast a shadow of grief over Tom’s world, leaving him reeling with the weight of loss and unanswered questions. In the aftermath of this devastating loss, Tom sought solace and support from Shout, a charitable organization dedicated to providing free, confidential text messaging services for individuals struggling with mental health challenges.

For Tom, Shout represented more than just a lifeline—it was a lifeline that he believed could have potentially made a difference for his dear friend James. Inspired by the impact of Shout’s services and determined to pay it forward, Tom embarked on a monumental challenge: rowing the distance between his hometown of Bury St Edmunds and Lisbon, Portugal—the place where James spent his final days.

Tom’s journey, both physical and emotional, began on New Year’s Day 2024, as he committed himself to rowing over 2,000 kilometers, mirroring the distance between Bury and Lisbon. With each stroke of the oar, he aimed to raise awareness and funds for Shout, hoping to make a tangible difference in the lives of those grappling with mental health issues.

Throughout his arduous journey, Tom’s resolve remained unwavering, fueled by the memory of his dear friend and the knowledge that his efforts could potentially save lives. Rowing on machines at home, in the gym, and even while visiting family in Dorset, Tom pressed forward, buoyed by the support of friends, family, and the Shout community.

As he neared the halfway mark of his epic challenge, Tom’s fundraising efforts had already surpassed the £2,000 mark, a testament to the generosity and compassion of those touched by his story. With a fundraising goal of £4,577.60—£2 for every kilometer rowed—Tom remained steadfast in his commitment to supporting Shout’s vital mental health services.

One of Tom’s major sponsors has been St Albans based glazing company Ideal Glass who specialize in window installation & window repair in the Albans area of Hertfordshire.

Shout, in turn, expressed their gratitude and admiration for Tom’s extraordinary undertaking, recognizing the profound impact of his rowing fundraiser in raising awareness and funds for their cause. With each donation and each kilometer rowed, Tom’s journey served as a powerful reminder of the resilience of the human spirit and the transformative power of collective action in the fight against mental illness.

As Tom continues to row towards his goal, he remains focused on the finish line—both metaphorically and geographically. With the hope of completing his challenge in Lisbon by summer 2025, Tom’s journey stands as a testament to the enduring power of love, friendship, and the unwavering commitment to making a positive difference in the world.